Travel across the United States increases dramatically during the holidays. In fact, there was a record number of travelers during the 2016 holiday season, with 93.6 million Americans driving to their holiday destinations. These travelers will journey at least 50 miles from their home, and will spend an average of $2.30-$2.50 per gallon for gas during the holidays. Thanksgiving is actually a bigger holiday travel period than Christmas and New Year’s, with travel destinations more than 50 miles away increasing by 54 percent over Thanksgiving weekend, and only 23 percent during Christmas and New Year’s. Most people who travel for the Thanksgiving holiday will do so on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, although there will be a fair amount of travelers returning home on Friday and Sunday as well. With all of these extra drivers on the road, and often less than ideal driving conditions, everyone should be concerned about staying safe while traveling for the holidays.
Staying Safe During Holiday Travel
So how can you stay safe during your travels—or ensure your family members stay safe as they travel to your home? Make sure your car is road-worthy, particularly if you will be driving in winter conditions, such as snow and ice. Check your tire pressure, make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition, have your brakes and battery checked, and always carry an emergency roadside kit, as well as a stash of granola bars or other food, water, and blankets. Although you may never need these items, if you do, you will be very glad you packed them.
Check Your Route and the Weather
Once your car is in good shape, consider your route, and, whenever possible, try to drive during daylight hours only. When you are fatigued, and it gets dark, accidents are much more likely to occur. Have a set time to leave, and plan to stop every couple of hours to get out and stretch your legs. Always make sure your cell phone is fully charged before you leave, and that you have a car charger, just in case. Check the weather before you leave, and get regular weather updates on your phone along the way. Be aware that the weather can change in an instant, and you could end up unprepared for winter weather. Whether you are traveling alone, or with others, let friends and family know when you will be leaving, where you will be stopping along the way, and when you will return home.
Adjust How You Drive
You may be familiar with driving in snow and ice, or you may be new to driving in winter weather conditions. If you are new to driving in snow and ice, you must remember three primary things: Slow down, leave plenty of room between yourself and the car ahead of you, and if you do skid, steer into the skid. Make sure you, and all passengers are securely buckled up, and if you are involved in an accident, if you are unable to get your car safely off the road, stay inside the car until help arrives. Standing outside the car puts you in a very dangerous position, as another car could skid in the same area as your car skidded, sliding into you. If you have chains for your vehicle make sure they are in the car, and that you know how to put the chains on if needed.
Having an accident is never a good thing, but it is even less so during the holidays. An accident can completely derail your holiday plans, preventing you from reaching your destination, and potentially even leaving you stranded in an unfamiliar town for the holidays. If you do have an accident, after contacting a tow truck and your insurance company, consider contacting an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney. If the accident was the fault of a negligent driver, your attorney will help you recover damages for your vehicle and medical expenses for your injuries.
Contact Our Denver Car Accident Attorneys
When you or someone you love is injured in a car accident in Denver, it is important to know where to turn for help. At the Gold Law Firm, our Denver car accident attorneys have the experience needed to tackle large and complex car accident cases – and win. Unsure of your legal options? We can help. Contact Gregory A. Gold of the Gold Law Firm today for a free consultation at (303) 694-4653.